Kelly A. Trujillo, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Regional Transportation District, Defendant-Appellant.
of Appeals No. 17CA2104 City and County of Denver District
Court No. 17CV32460 Honorable Jennifer B. Torrington, Judge
Law Firm, LLC, Robin E. Scully, Denver, Colorado, for
Regional Transportation District, Derrick Black, Jonathan
Saadeh, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant
1 Defendant, Regional Transportation District (RTD), appeals
from the trial court's denial of its C.R.C.P. 12(b)(1)
motion to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand
the case for further proceedings.
2 Plaintiff, Kelly A. Trujillo, filed a complaint alleging
that she was injured while attempting to catch a shuttle bus
at the Mall Bus Turnaround located at Civic Center Station in
downtown Denver. She claims that she stepped on a tree grate
that was not properly secured, thereby causing her to fall.
3 RTD filed a C.R.C.P. 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss based on
its assertion of governmental immunity pursuant to the
Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA), specifically
sections 24-10-103(6) and -106(1)(d)(I), C.R.S. 2018. After
receiving briefing on the motion from both sides, the court
denied the request for a hearing and the motion. RTD filed
this interlocutory appeal.
4 RTD contends that the trial court erred in denying its
C.R.C.P. 12(b)(1) motion by finding that the walkway on which
Trujillo was allegedly injured met the statutory definition
of a sidewalk, thereby waiving RTD's entitlement to
governmental immunity. Specifically, RTD asserts here, as it
did to the trial court, that the Turnaround is not a public
roadway because only RTD buses are allowed to drive
there. We disagree.
5 "Governmental immunity implicates issues of subject
matter jurisdiction, which are determined in accordance with
C.R.C.P. 12(b)(1)." Daniel v. City of Colorado
Springs, 2014 CO 34, ¶ 10. Thus, we apply a mixed
standard of review to the trial court's decision to deny
RTD's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. See Medina v. State, 35 P.3d 443, 452
(Colo. 2001). We review the court's factual findings for
clear error. See Corsentino v. Cordova, 4 P.3d 1082,
1087 (Colo. 2000). And we review the court's legal
conclusions de novo. Medina, 35 P.3d at 452.
Further, "[b]ecause governmental immunity established by
the CGIA derogates Colorado's common law, we strictly
construe the Act's immunity provisions, and as a logical
corollary, we broadly construe its waiver provisions."
Young v. Brighton Sch. Dist. 27J, 2014 CO 32, ¶
6 This case requires us to interpret one of the CGIA's
waiver provisions. In interpreting statutes, our primary goal
is to discern and apply the legislative intent.
Daniel, ¶ 11; McKinley v. City of Glenwood
Springs, 2015 COA 126, ¶ 5. We do this by first
looking to the statute's plain language.
McKinley, ¶ 5. If it is clear and unambiguous,
we apply it as written. Daniel, ¶ 12. If,
however, it is susceptible of more than one reasonable
interpretation, we may look to extrinsic sources to aid our
7 The CGIA serves as a shield against tort liability for
public entities. Id. at ¶ 13; see
§ 24-10-106(1), C.R.S. 2018. There are a few situations,
however, in which the statute waives immunity. As relevant
here, section 24-10-106(1)(d)(I) waives immunity for
"[a] dangerous condition of a public highway, road, or
street which physically interferes with the movement of
traffic . . . of any public highway, road, street, or
sidewalk within the corporate limits of any municipality
8 It is undisputed that RTD is a public entity. It is also
undisputed that the area of the alleged accident is a
pedestrian walkway and ...